"Disgusting" is how one parent describes the discarded broken glass making playgrounds in Rotorua dangerous for kids.
The issue has become so concerning at one playground that the Rotorua Lakes Council has closed it and suspects some glass was left on the ground with the intent to cause injury.
Council sport, recreation and environment manager Rob Pitkethley told the Rotorua Daily Post glass was again becoming an issue at Susan St playground.
The Susan St playground has been plagued by vandalism for some time.
Local mum Seraiah Chase called on the council for a solution to the problem earlier this month after her children were injured there.
Pitkethley said council contractors had been checking the playground daily and "found new glass each day".
"It also appeared that some of the glass had been placed in the bark on purpose with the intention of causing injury."
Temporary fencing was installed around the playground last week.
Locals were informed in a letter from the council that "the playground in Aorangi Reserve has been closed until further notice due to ongoing vandalism causing safety issues."
"It is extremely disappointing to have to close a community asset, but at this time it is the safest option to ensure that children using the space aren't at risk of being hurt by the broken glass," Pitkethley said.
Pitkethly said vandalism was "an issue that we deal with daily and district-wide."
The Rotorua Lakes Council has also received multiple reports of broken glass found on the playgrounds at Turner Drive, Wrigley Rd, High St and in Hannahs Bay Reserve, over the past few years.
When a Rotorua Daily Post reporter visited High St playground on Thursday, the rubbish bin was full to the brim with beer and Woodstock bottles.
There were more bottles and shards of glass on the ground.
Rotorua mum of three Danni Creighton doesn't think it's safe to take her 2-year-old twins and baby to the playground at Corlett Street Reserve.
"It's always bad when we go down there," Creighton said.
"My daughter's bike tyres keep getting popped by the glass. It's hard to pick up all the glass shards, as it's through the grass as well.
"It's disgusting considering it's an allocated area for children."
Hannah and Holdens Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association spokesman David Parry said he considered those who littered Hannahs Bay Reserve with bottles "people with a lack of social conscience."
Parry said he often finds Woodstock bottles in and around the playground, particularly in the carpark. There was broken glass on the path last month.
"I do believe it would be a good idea to restrict access to the reserve after dark," Parry said.
Speaking about the Susan St playground closure, Pitkethley said the council "want to work together with the community to find a solution that will ensure the reserve and the playground is a safe place for the children that are using it."
Possible solutions such as alternative playground surfaces, and a temporary security camera have been considered.
Both options, however, were also said to be vandalism prone and costly.
After Seraiah Chase raised the issue of broken glass at Susan St, the council told the Rotorua Daily Post rubber mats would be too expensive, with a price tag of $57,000.
The council has already spent $18,000 in 2019 and $15,00 in 2017 to replace the bark at the Susan St playground.
Fordlands Community Association representative Maraea Pomana suggested strengthening community bonds as an alternative solution.
Pomana is involved in running a youth programme at the recreation reserve on Wrigley Rd.
The council has received complaints about vandalism in the park over the past few years.
But Pomana said that since November, when the youth programme started, things had changed.
"Our children are starting to care for the area way more," Pomana said.
"Our community is becoming more connected."
When asked to comment on previous incidents of vandalism at the playground Pomana said she didn't "want to talk about the negatives."
"We've had enough of that here."
Since 2015, six complaints have been made to the council about vandalism at Susan St.
An investigation into the future of the playground was opened in 2018.
The council said police were aware of the situation. Police were approached for comment.